IRELAND - Under Regulations signed this week by Regina Doherty, T.D., Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, with effect from 1 January 2020, carers will have the opportunity to increase the number of hours they work or attend a training course outside the home from 15 to 18 ½ hours per week.
This measure is one that Minister Doherty particularly prioritised in response to the carers she met at the Department’s Pre-Budget Forum who told her that they found the current number of 15 hours to be too restrictive.
Minister Doherty commented:
“It has been a long-standing call from carers groups and associations that the limitation we place on the number of hours that carers can work or train in a week is too restrictive. I have had many conversations with these groups and with many individual people whom they represent and who deliver care to our most vulnerable people and loved ones. I was delighted to make provision for their proposal in Budget 2020.
These Regulations, which take effect from 1 January next, will increase the number of hours that a carer can work or train from the current 15 hours per week to 18 and a half hours per week. This will help carers address issues of social isolation and, critically, enable them to maintain better contact with the workforce, and by doing so improve their welfare and their incomes. I believe that this measure will have a positive impact on the lives of many carers, particularly women.”
There are 83,772 carers in receipt of Carers Allowance and over 3,100 carers in receipt of Carers Benefit at present. Over 75 per cent of carers receiving Carer’s Allowance are women.
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